Best Warehouse Club: BJ’s, Costco or Sam’s Club?

4 min read

Shopping at warehouse clubs allows consumers to spend considerably less because of bulk buying. While you may already be settled with your favorite wholesaler, you will be pleased to know that there are other options for you to explore.

These commodity companies offer attractive and generous rewards in a competitive spirit to draw customers and keep them happy while reaping their own financial rewards.

Once you are aware of what each store has to offer, you may realize that you can reap more benefits at one compared to the other two.

Continue reading to decide which of these warehouse giants you want you to spend your money on — Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club.

Store Locations

store locations, costco, sam's club, warehouse

Of the three stores, Costco boasts the most locations. While Costco spreads itself over 741 locations, Sam’s Club has 597 and BJ’s only has 210.

According to, Costco is a global organization with holdings in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the UK and elsewhere.

On the other than, Sam’s Club is in the USA from coast to coast. And BJ’s has the smallest number of locations presently — in the East Coast and Ohio.

Membership Cost

membership cost

In addition to Costco having the largest number of locations, they also have the highest yearly membership. According to their official websites, their annual basic membership cost is $60, compared to BJ’s $55 and Sam’s Club $45.

If you shop at any of these locations without your membership, you will pay service fees. BJ’s charges the highest — 20%, Sam’s Club charges 10% and Costco charges 5%.

A Sam’s Club and Costco review noted that although Costco has a higher membership price, their range of services vastly outnumbers Sam’s Club. And Costco offers a prescription program, which if you need that service at Sam’s Club, you’ll have to upgrade your membership.



Moving from basic membership to a pricier affair gives you similar rewards from all three companies. For example, if you own an executive membership at Costco, you receive an extra 2% reward on travel services and another 2% reward on up to $1000 per year.

BJ’s also gifts you a 2% reward if you sign up for their perks reward card. Meanwhile, Sam’s Club Plus rewards give $10 on every $500 you spend. They’ll reward you up to $500 annually.



There are numerous price comparisons and reviews for BJ’s Sam’s Club and Costco. For example, one comparison found that BJ’s comes out ahead of Costco just barely for the best prices, with Sam’s Club following close behind.

Another comparison found that Costco had cheaper products than Sam’s. However, they also took into account that Costco’s membership price was higher, and for your first visit, you would pay more.

So, although reviews found that BJ’s topped the best prices, followed by Sam’s Club then Costco, the cost is relative. There would be a difference in prices, for example, if you purchase organic over non-organic items. Bear in mind also that both Sam’s Club and Costco offer eye testing services.

Return Policies

return policy

Neither Costco nor Sam’s Club has a hard and fast policy deadline concerning non-electronics items. However, if you return an item, Sam’s Club asks that you take in the receipt and the original packaging.

Costco has the most lenient return policy by far. You can return basically anything at any time. And having your receipt is not necessary.

On the other hand, BJ’s will not accept anything returned after a year, and they have a list of non-returnable items. And you cannot return used merchandise without the original packaging and the accessories.

The Shopping Experience

shopping experience

In addition to services offered and low prices, shoppers want a satisfactory shopping experience that brings them joy. So, consumers are likely to be ok with spending more money if the ambiance is enjoyable and the customer service is top-notch. It makes the trip well worth it!

The Consumer Satisfaction body ranks the best department and discount stores in America, based on over 50,000 customer surveys. Costco comes in first place in customer satisfaction over Sam’s Club and BJ’s on the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).

A Tamkin survey also ranks companies on their customer service policies and delivery. The Tamkin survey gives Costco the edge by 79% over Sam’s Club and BJ’s. Respondents gave the Costco stores a good or excellent rating, says Money Talks News.

Who’s the Winner?

deals, money, rewards

All three warehouse clubs are great and loved by many. Any store that accommodates the consumer budget and offers customer service to match is likely to be an industry leader. But, of course, the majority of society favors whichever has the best deals and rewards.

Assessing these three stars, it comes as no surprise that Costco emerges at the top due to policy, rewards, customer service (online and offline), a wide array of products and accessibility.

Essentially, the only downside of Costco is the huge crowds it attracts. So if you would like to avoid bumping carts with other shoppers, try out Sam’s Club or BJ’s. After all, it is clear that each warehouse has a lot to offer. It’s up to you to choose your fighter.